The Writer’s Block

7 Dec

Image from Phoenix.Fanster.com

The true, worst kind of Writer’s Block isn’t what you think.

That big, white block, standing clearly in your way as you desperately search for ways around it, over it, through it, away from it.  A fierce and persistent critic, cutting down your every idea, pleased with an ever growing pile of crumpled up pieces of paper and unfinished drafts.   A thin, invisible film covering your fingers and brain, paralyzing everything you need to create.  A massive military resistance, too vast to even begin to plan an attack against.

The real Writer’s Block is none of these things.  It’s what you don’t think.

Writer’s Block is something so deadly and devastating, so stomach turning and persistent, so cold,  that you don’t even know it’s there.  It’s not a mountain of crumpled papers, but a neatly stacked pile, untouched.  It’s end of the day, after a full day of work, and turning on Dancing With The Stars because you’re too tired to think.  It’s on Thanksgiving, when you’re parents ask you, “So, what have you been up to lately?” and you respond with “Oh you know, the usual.”  It’s not noticing you haven’t written anything in weeks.  Months.  Years.  It’s reaching the end of your life as a working professional and realizing, you should have written a novel.   It’s not an enemy, it’s apathy. A lack.  Not concrete but conditional. Something you can’t fight because you’re not even aware that it’s there.  Sapping you.  Making you unable.

The only cure,  is sudden Consciousness.

About these ads

6 Responses to “The Writer’s Block”

  1. nixonagnew December 8, 2009 at 1:05 am #

    this is also true of artist’s block.

    • hellopresto December 8, 2009 at 2:55 am #

      Yeah, I’d imagine it’s similar to any creative person in the arts, no matter the medium.

  2. katwalk65 December 10, 2009 at 12:10 am #

    hellopresto — how beautifully put: “It’s not an enemy, it’s apathy.” Perhaps apathy is the enemy after all, but with the drudgery of survival and the daily dose of just living your life, it’s hard to keep it up all the time, especially on command, as a creator, looking for their muse, the one they think they saw once at a poetry reading in the back.

    I love your imagery, indeed, what a great description of that dread: “thin, invisible film covering your fingers and brain, paralyzing everything you need to create.”

    And this applies to the related-work I do [scriptwriting I suppose is still writing, coming up with words, a creative vision and a plan for something I must do but don’t want to–I am simply NOT inspired]:
    “The real Writer’s Block is none of these things. It’s what you don’t think.

    Writer’s Block is something so deadly and devastating, so stomach turning and persistent, so cold, that you don’t even know it’s there. It’s not a mountain of crumpled papers, but a neatly stacked pile, untouched. It’s end of the day, after a full day of work, and turning on Dancing With The Stars because you’re too tired to think.”

    Please write more, hellopresto! I went to your blog and I don’t know if you have written — even free associated — in months, and it is something I, as, I think a comrade in arms, would appreciate. Let’s kill, or at least rough up a little, that apathy once in a while. You’re too good to not put down the words.

    Katherine Walker
    imuafilm
    imuapress
    both at wordpress if you are interested in an exchange.

    http://imuafilm.wordpress.com/

    • hellopresto December 10, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

      Well Katherine, it’s a pleasure to meet you and thank you very much for the kind words. I’m glad my writings have attracted a reader such as yourself who is also a writer and a creative spirit. Thank you for taking the time to carefully read my post and reply with such a thoughtful comment.

      The imagery is something I wanted to really drive home on this post. Kind of contrasting the image of a big, bulky, forceful writer’s block, to this vacuum or venom or ghost of writer’s block (apathy, feeling uncreative) that stops you from writing before you even start. I think the latter is less of a big threatening image, but is much scarier and lethal because you don’t know it’s there. Like a grizzly bear waiting outside your cabin vs a poisonous spider in your bed.

      I will definitely check out your blogs and would love to work on some collaborative posts in the near future. Cheers to the death of apathy.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Every Post is A Collaborative Work « The Writings of a Writer - December 9, 2009

    […] writing | Leave a Comment  I can’t say that I take complete credit for the last post  The Writer’s Block.  Yes, I wrote it myself and yes, the ideas were all my own.  But if it were not for the […]

  2. Read, Write, Reflect, Repeat. « The Writings of a Writer - March 1, 2010

    […] keeps you from posting sometimes? Writers Block?  No good ideas?  Too many good ideas?  Aliens stole your keyboard?  Don’t be shy now, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: